“New York City—Kuwait City” features a new body of work that explores the porcelain art of New York based artist Reinaldo Sanguino. Blending modern and traditional techniques, Sanguino’s work is an eclectic mix of visual elements that delights the eye of the beholder.
The visual delights of Reinaldo Sanguino were on view from April 17 to April 19 at the Sultan Gallery in collaboration with Dean Project, New York. Organized into groups based on type-style, the ceramics were displayed in an interesting manner on wooden shipping crates at different levels to resemble the unloading of shipping cargo.
Memory plays an important role in his work. In his creative vocabulary, Sanguino demonstrates how an infusion of text, imagery, vintage papers, photos and personal memorabilia are interwoven in his compelling ceramic collection. The pieces seem quite carefully composed yet still really whimsical and experimental.
His visually alluring ceramics are based on the practice of using Meissen Porcelain as diplomatic exchange gifts by European Courts during the eighteenth century, and his body of work is a contemporary and personalized reexamination of the diplomatic gift exchange tradition as form of relationship building, explains the artist.
Sanguino’s works are instantly recognizable. Stylistically he combines intricate textures and abstraction as he forges a unique and distinctive expression. Working in a diverse array of media, Sanguino displays mastery of all aspects of the ceramicists’ art.
His current work is an embodiment of his personal reflections and diverse techniques creating a fantastic mix of visual storytelling. Among the highlights are “Ma-Lucky”, ceramic, mixed media, and “BS Tarzan”, ceramic, mixed media. Both the pieces are very textural and beautiful to look at. His other piece, titled “RT Red” a bowl in ceramic and mixed media is also very striking.
Another work that stands out for its endearing vocabulary and fusion of ideas is “Ma-S, Twice”, in ceramic and mixed media. What is very appealing about this piece is that it features a tiny nostalgic image of Curious George amongst many, which peeks out of the shadows of lace trimmings and antique crochet elements.
According to the artist, “the ceramics are simple shapes and have little to no recognizable painted-glaze imagery; instead the surfaces are abstract and graffiti-like with elements of collage and assemblage.”
The objects are some of his most prized possessions, making them an ideal source of inspiration for this body of work, says Sanguino.
Over the past twenty years, Sanguino has collected miscellaneous items that were given to him, including greeting cards, gifts, souvenirs, photos, and clothes. As a whole, the collection represents the many and diverse relationships the artist formed during this time, and the objects, therefore, are the material manifestation of the meanings of these relationships.
A prolific artist, Sanguino has evolved a unique and distinctive style that has found tremendous resonance with his audience. While explaining the creative process, the artist explains that he scans and digitally preserves the original items then sorts them by kind and color to print them on malleable material.
In his artist statement, he says, “the malleable material is then applied—in the form of woven rope, collage, and assemblage—to the ceramic surfaces. The adhesion of the material to the ceramics adds color and texture to the works, challenging the traditional appearance of ceramics.”
Another important aspect of the exhibition is a sculpture-crown, part of his “Gods & Designers” series, which is based primarily on ideas of social class.
“I was particularly interested in making an object that represents the blurring of social classes in contemporary society.”
The artist uses well-known luxury brands, such as Hermes and Tiffany’s, and ceramics crowns made of porcelain with a high-gloss black glaze.
“By combining imagery of our contemporary society (the luxury brands) with a historical symbol (the crown) I’m interested in displaying a timeline in the development of the visual imagery we associate as social upper class.
“I employ the color black as the color that defines pop culture in my view. The crowns are made out of a breakable material atop luxury cardboard boxes accessible to anyone willing to consume the brand; both of these qualities are my way of representing the blurring of social classes and the fragility that the upper social class seemingly faces today,” notes the artist in his statement.
Reinaldo Sanguino was born in Caracas, Venezuela (1973). He graduated in 1993 from the School of Visual Arts Cristobal Rojas in Caracas. After graduating he relocated to New York City from where he currently works and lives.
Sanguino is the recipient of many awards and honors and has participated in artist residency programs throughout the United States. His work is consistently sought by galleries and collectors. He has had numerous solo exhibitions, and group shows throughout the United States and Latin America.
Sanguino is represented in prestigious collections, most notably the Museum of Arts & Design, NYC, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, TX, MINT Museum, Charlotte NC, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis MN.
Sultan Gallery is located in South Subhan, Block 8, Street 105, Building 168. For further details please contact [email protected] or call 6097 0001.